After a long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kongsberg recently organized its 17th Forum for the Exchange of Mutual Multibeam Experiences (FEMME) in Edinburgh, UK. The FEMME conference brought together many Kongsberg mapping users, partners and specialists, who were able to take part in an interesting programme that included workshops, user presentations and poster papers. This was the first time that FEMME was organized by the newly created Kongsberg Discovery, the new leader in ocean science technology for underwater, subsea and above water. Another first was the record number of 250 participants.
The new Kongsberg Discovery president Martin Fjell Wien opened the conference, highlighting the importance of ocean science for sustainable oceans and the key role that Kongsberg Discovery plays in this. David Parker, head of Hydrographic Programmes UKHO then followed with a keynote, in which he emphasized that everything starts with a map, and without that knowledge of our surroundings it will be difficult to undertake any ocean activities at all.
Throughout the conference, users shared their experiences and projects using Kongsberg Discovery technology, with many papers focusing on the fascinating topics of backscatter, sub-bottom and bathymetric mapping. It was also interesting to see how ocean technology is evolving with more uncrewed platforms. Saildrone, for example, described the challenges involved in surveying with an uncrewed wind-driven platform, where varying wind directions make it difficult to maintain a straight line, impacting on the survey technology.
Enhanced sub-bottom data solution
Conference highlights included two new releases: the new Kongsberg EM2042 multibeam echosounder, and the new integrated deepwater multibeam and sub-bottom profiler. The EM2042 maintains the strengths of the EM2040 family and expands it with the integration of newly embedded Kongsberg INS solutions. It is ready-made for any mobile or uncrewed survey operations required by users. The new integrated EM sub-bottom profiler allows users to employ their existing deepwater multibeam system not just to obtain multibeam data, but also to collect sub-bottom data from the same system, acheiving better operational efficiencies.
Last but not least, Kongsberg Discovery organized a fun social programme for conference participants to get to know each other and share their experiences. This included a spectacular gala dinner, held at the National Museum of Scotland.